Cruisin’ the pines: Annual Roamin Angels Car Show makes its way to the Nevada County Fairgrounds for a weekend of fun |

Cruisin’ the pines: Annual Roamin Angels Car Show makes its way to the Nevada County Fairgrounds for a weekend of fun

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to Prospector


WHAT: Roamin’ Angels 20th Annual Cruisin’ the Pines Car Show

WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds

WHEN: Sept. 7 and 8, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

HOW: Tickets are $5 for the weekend at the gate. (The fairgrounds will charge parking.)

For two decades, The Roamin Angels Car Club has been bringing one of the best car shows in Northern California to the Nevada County Fairgrounds. This weekend, over 600 vehicles including classic cars, motorcycles, boats and vintage trailers will be on display under the pines. Coupled with special guests and activities, the 20th Annual Cruisin’ the Pines Car Show is a not-to-be-missed family friendly event.

The Roamin Angels formed in 1962 by a group of car lovers who wanted to share their enthusiasm with like-minded aficionados. Their mission statement is “to restore and maintain classic cars and street rods in a way that brings people together, preserves vintage vehicles and contributes to the community.”

When asked why the Roamin Angels put on the car show each year, car show director Mike Hauser said, “We do it because we are crazy about cars, but really the underlying factor is the money that we make supports all of the community programs that we are interested in.”

Today the car club is a 501 c 3 nonprofit that supports several Nevada County organizations including Boy Scouts, The Friendship Club, Hospice of the Foothills and groups that help Veterans.

The club also offer scholarships for students pursuing education in auto-related fields. Hauser said one of those recipients was Alexander Rossi. “He came in and talked to us at a breakfast meeting. We said, ‘You’re in!’ He took the money, went to Europe, and learned to drive an Indy car.” A decade later, Rossi went on to win the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie in 2016 and continues to compete at the highest level today.

Each winter the Roamin Angels work tirelessly, in cooperation with The Salvation Army, to gather toys for families in need. The club has been holding the toy drive for nearly 30 years, gathering thousands of toys, blankets and coats for children in the community.

Additionally, many the members of the Roamin’ Angels are veterans which drives them to help the American Legion and other organizations that work with vets.

Festivities kick off Friday afternoon for car show participants and features a barbeque dinner and dance Friday evening with the car loving “Roadtest” providing entertainment.

Saturday is open to the public, and offers a full day of display, contests, art shows and more. Breakfast by the AG Youth boosters runs from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Ponderosa Hall for $10 a person.

Other food and beverage vendors will be open on Treat Street throughout the weekend.

The popular Killer 4×4 area, featuring 4-wheel drive vehicles of all makes, models and year will be on display all weekend as well.

Hauser added, “The Planters Peanuts NutMobile will be there. The vintage trailers have become a bit hit. Bart (Riebe) is bringing his Bumblebee which a transformer type thing that is constructed out of (if I remember correctly) 10,000 car parts and it’s something like 8 feet tall.”

Napa race cars and drivers will be in attendance as well.

non-stop activities

The writer, actor and producer of the Indie Film “Greasemonkey” will be on hand to discuss her film, based in a restoration shop found in the East Bay.

There will be both an Artisan Arts and Craft Fair as well as the “Fins and Fenders” Art show with proceeds from Fins and Fenders also supporting Roamin Angels community projects.

Law enforcement will be on site with vehicles, safety displays and rides. The Grass Valley Police Department will be giving away bicycles to lucky participants in their distracted driving exhibition.

RC racing will be taking place near the dance pad.

There will be a half dozen raffles going on with a number of items up for grabs. Many prizes are geared toward the ladies — including some incredible pieces of jewelry. The traditional engine raffle will take place and this year they have a raffle item to specifically benefit local Veterans programs.

Hauser said Simply Country donated a 125cc replica jeep that seats 2 adults but is a huge hit with the kids. “It’s about the size of a golf cart. We’ve had it at the county fair, at the downtown (car) show and the Air Fest — every single kid that goes by that thing — it’s a magnet! ‘Hey Mom, I’m going to win this.” Tickets are $5 a piece with the winner selected Sunday and proceeds will go directly to help veterans.

Teens can display cars, of any age or type in the “Young Gear Heads” competition with prizes to any young adult (under age 21) who enters. Hauser said, “On Sunday, we bring in teens. We don’t care what car, what make, what model. Is that their interest? Is that what they work on the weekends? Is that what they polish? It can be their mom’s car, we don’t really care, so long as they take a little pride in it.” Bart Riebe has donated gift cards to those who sign up and show up.

Fun for all

One thing is certain — you don’t have to be a “car person” to enjoy the car show. From the trailers, to the artisan art show to the bands playing (Hank Biggs and the Hardtops will be on the Pine Tree Stage Sunday afternoon) to the beer garden — there is something for everyone and all for $5 for the weekend. Veterans, as always, are free.

“There is not a person that comes there that doesn’t have a story embedded in the car. It’s reminiscent of their childhood or their grandson likes it, or their mom used to have one of these – whatever that story is, that is the click. The car is obviously nice to look at, but I guarantee you cannot walk up and ask somebody something and not hear the story and go Wow!” Hauser concluded, “We are hoping for a good turnout. The more people that come, the more we can do for the community.”

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.